Projects

More than 30 teams made it to the showcase stage of the Campus of the Future competition, held on October 26. From that group, three were chosen to receive a share of $30,000 in award funding set aside for winners.

The following ideas were declared “best of show” in the contest:

First Place: University of Michigan Mobile Learning Labs

The campus of the future must break free of its institutional and geographic barriers to branch out into surrounding communities, create experiential learning options for students, engage individuals with limited access to higher education and provide space for interdisciplinary collaboration to solve local problems. The proposed solution is to create pop-up learning labs. To test this idea, this team proposes to develop a pilot pop-up lab in Ann Arbor with the opportunity to operate at three scales. At the room scale, the lab will take the form of interactive gatherings between town and gown. At the building scale, the lab will function as a live-in learning community. At the campus scale, the lab will serve as an interactive, engaging set of satellite spaces around campus.

Second Place: The Virtual Reality Online Campus

In its mission statement, U-M pledges “to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge.” Developing a Massive Open Online Course enhanced by virtual reality/augmented reality technology will help the university meet this goal and position itself as a leader of emerging trends in education access and availability. VR/AR technology, in the form of hand-held, phone-based headsets, offers unique opportunities for the graphic representation of research findings, making otherwise dry material seem more engaging and relatable. This content can be enhanced through room-scale, in-class enrichment exercises. The proposal will also shape the future of the university on a campus-wide scale, by expanding its reach far beyond the geographic boundaries of the institution.

Third Place: U-M Satellite Campus on Mars

The University of Michigan Bioastronautics and Life Support Systems (BLiSS) project team believes that if human civilization is to succeed in space, then the University of Michigan must be a leader in the endeavor. This project will develop a design for a U-M campus on Mars, as it might appear during the university’s tricentennial in 2117. This design would include but not be limited to the engineering of buildings; suggested scientific research to be conducted on the planet; curriculum considerations; and student life, health and recreation ideas. Input from students, faculty, staff and alumni (especially those employed at leading space agencies and organizations) will be used so that the widest possible worldview can be incorporated into the Mars campus design.

Read the University Record story.

The remaining projects included the following, searchable by alphabetical order or by category.

  • 1Cademy

    The top-down delivery of knowledge, from instructor to student, is a classic form of teaching. But it doesn’t work for every learner, especially when it comes to understanding difficult concepts. To address this problem, an instructor-guided, collaborative learning technology is being developed. It will encourage the generation of multiple explanations of each concept—by students and for students. ​Both groups will benefit from the experience: a true peer-to-peer process. This learning technology fits into the campus scale. A demonstration application will be built during Fall 2017, with a goal of testing the system in three large undergraduate courses at U-M in Winter 2018.

  • C2D Hub

    The C2D Hub project is dedicated to developing a private dental clinic model that is ecologically sustainable, can be built in any environment and serves as a multi-purpose learning space for its community. This team is currently conducting interviews with faculty, staff and students of the U-M School of Dentistry, practicing dentists and members of the community to determine the must-have elements of the model. After a visit to the Earthship community in Taos, NM, this project will confer with the architecture firm SmithGroup JJR to help shape the clinic’s blueprints. Deliverables will also include a syllabus for a mini course on sustainable dental buildings and practices and a toolkit for developing the clinic of the future, to be distributed to incoming dentistry students at orientation.

  • Developing a MOOC through Engaged Learning: Students Creating for Students

    An interdisciplinary group of upper-division undergraduate, master’s and PhD students from five different schools recently worked under the guidance of Dr. Michaela Zint, and in collaboration with the Office of Academic Innovation and the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, to develop the first iteration of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to help national and international learners engage in individual, community and political behaviors to “Act on Climate.” This project is considered to be one of the first original MOOCs developed collaboratively between a professor and students, and can now be used as a model of student-led digital curriculum development for others at U-M and academic institutions around the world.

  • Fathom

    Team FATHOM envisions a world where all learners can experience quality education and receive helpful, immediate feedback whenever and wherever. We introduce the ultimate digital studying platform that acts as your personal studying/learning mentor. FATHOM’s technology capitalizes on cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) to address critical educational issues (systemic, student, and content barriers) and provide students with the ability to enhance their studying processes, foster application and practice-driven learning, and cultivate smart studying habits. Ultimately, our technology will incorporate three key features: (1) Ability to analyze and evaluate students’ note-taking methods, automatically highlight and paraphrase key points through smart labelling, and make recommendations on improving one’s note-taking structure based off research-proven methods; (2) Auto-generate relevant practice questions (short answer, multiple choice, current/relatable events, cases, etc.) derived from user-created content and public database; (3) Integrate productive studying habits tools and frameworks (Pomodoro and Feynman techniques, focus timer, digital distraction minimizer, sleep tracker, etc.) into students’ studying sessions. Our team is working towards revolutionizing the future of education. Check our deliverables (prototype/mockup, etc.) out at the Showcase Event!

  • Honors Leadership Capstone

    In partnership with the Honors Program, Central Student Government proposes the creation of an Honors Leadership Capstone which would serve students interested in purposefully connecting knowledge learned in the classroom with skills learned outside of it. Capstones could be defined as an experiment, project, research study or entrepreneurial venture, with a completion date of 1.5 to 2 years. Successful students would graduate with honors, and be able to display or present their capstone results for others to see. In Fall 2017, the Honors Program, in cooperation with CSG, will pilot this program for a small group of students. The HLC goes beyond the framework of rooms and buildings to impact any student enrolled in the College of LSA and, later, any student across campus.

    Categories: Curriculum Pedagogy

  • Instagram for the Extended Classroom Curriculum

    Teaching is communication: sharing knowledge with the hope of generating a response. As our forms of communication change with the development of new social media, shouldn’t our teaching change, too? A class Instagram project was created as a response to this dilemma, encouraging students to take their class with them as they go about their day and to share some of their world with them by tying it back to the themes of the class. This created a virtual community for students to engage in, learning to learn through their most intuitive forms of engagement. By teaching through technology rather than against it, this project hopes to help students become more thoughtful, engaged and critical media producers and consumers.

  • Maestro: The Conductor’s Baton

    The goal of this project is to develop a virtual conducting system that would allow for the refinement of kinesthetic skills that are essential to creating subtle gestures improving conductor performance and confidence on the podium. This project will support the learning of kinesthetic conducting skills while furthering development of essential musical and cognitive skills.

  • Mastering Michigan

    Interdisciplinary, project-based courses are not new. This idea differs from what has come before by bringing together students who do not normally interact and creating an environment of cooperation to tackle contemporary problems. Such courses will be beneficial in helping young students arrive at a choice of major and will enable older students to apply their refined skills in a practical, project-based setting. The final deliverable will be comprised of a written report that details three potential elective courses designed with stakeholder feedback in consideration. The report will specifically lay out the structure of the classes and potential faculty involvement.

    Categories: Curriculum Pedagogy

  • Match.Meet.Master

    Traditionally, an education at U-M has focused on the model of a teacher transferring professional knowledge to students. But what about students seeking to learn something for personal enrichment? For that audience, this project proposes a different delivery method: a website called Match.Meet.Master. M3 will be a student-to-student enterprise executed on a campus-wide scale. Students with a skill to share will create a teaching profile on M3: describing lessons they would offer, pricing and meeting times and locations. Learners will be able to easily “shop” the site for desired lessons. M3 will foster relationships between campus members who rarely interact with each other—for instance, a dental student connecting with a dance student for ballet lessons—while making the most of the abundant talent within the student community.